Islamabad IGP resumes duty as SC dismisses govt’s plea to appoint new police chief


–Justice Nisar says additional charge is given to officer in case IGP is out of country

ISLAMABAD: Islamabad Inspector General of Police (IGP) Jan Muhammad resumed duty on Thursday, shortly after the Supreme Court (SC) rejected the federal government’s plea seeking appointment of a permanent police chief keeping in view the prevailing law and order situation in the federal capital.

A three-member bench headed by Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar heard the plea filed by Attorney General of Pakistan (AGP) Khalid Jawed and requested the court that “in light of the current security situation of the country, permission be granted for the appointment of a new IGP”.

As the hearing went underway, the chief justice said, “Instead of appointing a new IGP, give an additional charge to someone else.”

Justice Nisar asked, “Had we not suspended the decision of the IGP’s appointment, what would you have done?”

Moreover, CJP Nisar, while talking about Aasiya Bibi’s verdict and the protests that followed, said, “The state should fulfil its responsibility to maintain peace in the country like the prime minister said last night.”

Referring to Prime Minister Imran Khan’s address to the nation on Wednesday evening, the top judge remarked that an active IGP was essential for the maintenance of law and order.

Addressing the AGP, the chief justice also noted that additional charge is given to an officer in case an IGP is out of the country and directed government to follow the same procedure in the matter.

The CJP had taken suo motu notice of transfer of the Islamabad IGP and suspended the notification of the transfer, observing that the IGP was transferred on the verbal orders of Prime Minister Imran Khan.

During an earlier hearing, the interior secretary and the attorney general (AG) were directed by the apex court to explain the reasons behind the transfer.

Meanwhile, Federal Minister Senator Azam Swati had said that he had approached Imran Khan after several failed attempts at contacting IGP Jan Muhammad over an incident at his farmhouse last week.

Swati said he had made several attempts to contact the inspector-general to inform him regarding the incident and ensuing bomb threats from the “illegal occupants” who later beat up and injured his three guards.

On October 27, the IGP was transferred and ordered to report immediately to the Establishment Division until further orders.

Reports had stated that the IGP was transferred after he refused action on a complaint by Swati’s son.

Swati’s son filed an FIR at the Shehzad Town Police Station against several people for allegedly letting their animals into the former’s fields. On being stopped, the suspects attacked the employees with axes and also snatched weapons from the security guards and held them hostages, the FIR stated.